The programme of work is developed by the TUC Joint Consultative Committee (TUCJCC) each year based on the decisions made at the most recent Trades Union Councils conference.
The theme for 2019-2020 is to Protect Jobs, Defend Living Standards and to stand up for equality and fair treatment at work for women, BME workers, LGBT workers, disabled workers and young workers. The programme sets out a positive vision of trade unions as we know them to be: a democratic force for fairness in the modern workplace. The Programme highlights the role that trades union councils play in developing and promoting trades unions and in campaigning on the core values of the TUC and the trade union movement.
In it’s introductory statement to the Trades Union Councils’ Programme of Work for 2019-2020 the TUCJCC explains that
“as Brexit dominates parliament many of the wider problems affecting Britain today are not being dealt with.
“Millions of workers are trapped in insecure jobs that give no control over working lives. Workers’ pay packets still haven’t recovered from the financial crisis. And years of disastrous austerity have left our schools, hospitals, councils and welfare at breaking point. Towns and cities across Britain have been gutted by years of cuts and underinvestment. Huge cuts to local government mean that Sure Start centres, libraries and youth clubs that allow communities to meet and come together are gone.
“These tears in the social fabric have emboldened the far-right to spread their poison and sow division among working people. Immigrants are scapegoated for problems the government should be fixing, such as undercutting and pressure on public services. BME workers continue to suffer racism and discrimination.
“New technology – that should be improving the lives of working people – is instead being used to track and sweat workers. From distribution centres to classrooms, workers face increasing workloads and pressure – with more than 15 million days lost to stress-related illness every year.”
The Programme of Work commits the trades union councils’ movement to:-
- promote the TUC’s New Deal Charter
- campaign for unions to be given new rights to access every workplace and set pay and conditions across industries through collective bargaining
- call for a ban on zero-hours contracts and false self-employment, support the genuinely self-employed and campaign for new rights in the digital economy
- fight for a national minimum wage of £10 per hour now, for decent pensions and for fair pay settlements, including for dedicated public servants
- call for a legal duty on public authorities to reduce inequality
- campaign against class discrimination, to end unpaid internships and work trials and promotion based on the ‘old school tie’; and for all jobs to be advertised openly, with their rate of pay
- stand up for equality and fair treatment at work for women, BME workers, LGBT workers, disabled workers and young workers, and help unions use collective bargaining to fight discrimination at work
- lead the call for shorter working hours, for a just transition to new technologies and the right to positive flexible working from day one of your job, with employers required to advertise all jobs on that basis
- help 250,000 workers access basic skills training and further education through unionlearn and campaign for a universal learning entitlement
The Trades Union Councils’ Programme of Work – 2019-2020 can be found here